“Argent Mat” Williamson Prevails in Le RPM STSS Battle for Quebec Victory
Written by Chris Moore
SAINT-MARCEL-DE-RICHELIEU, QUEBEC – “Argent Mat.”
Mat Williamson led all 60 laps of the ‘Lumberjack Swing’ finale at Le RPM Speedway to take home the $10,200 top prize in his home country.
Williamson, a St. Catherines, Ont., native, grabbed his fifth Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco win of his career in the second ever STSS event in Canada.
“I really wanted to win here in Quebec,” an elated Williamson said in Bicknell Racing Products Victory Lane. “The fans here are amazing, look at these grandstands. It’s the pinnacle of dirt modified racing.”
Despite leading all 60 laps of the ‘Short Track Spectaculaire,’ Williamson had many bouts in lap traffic that required his best.
“I knew I had to go,” Williamson explained. “When (Stewart) Friesen pulls up behind you, you have to go. He’s one of the best.”
The win was Williamson’s first of the 2023 season with the STSS, taking the victory in Round No. 8 of the River Valley Builders North Region.
Williamson fired on the outside of the front row alongside Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw.
With Williamson quickly occupying the top spot, Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen and Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski battled early for the final podium position.
Friesen drove around Yankowski at the completion of the fourth circuit and went to work on closing in on the lead duo.
The first 18 laps clicked off caution-free, with side-by-side racing all over the tight bullring, including the leaders navigating lap traffic.
Simon Perreault slowed off the top of turn two on lap 19, bringing out the races first yellow, and getting Williamson, Johnson, and Friesen out of the heavy slower traffic they were contending with.
When green replaced yellow, Friesen quickly threw a slide job at the exit of turn four to take over the runner-up spot from Johnson.
Elizabethtown, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney and Ransomville, N.Y.’s Erick Rudolph also entered the top five on the restart.
Williamson continued to set the pace out front, collecting the $200 Superior Remodeling halfway leader bonus at the completion of lap 30.
The second yellow of the race came on lap 34, almost immediately following Erick Rudolph getting around Mike Mahaney for the fourth spot, sliding the Ransomville native into the second row for the restart.
On the restart, Friesen made multiple bids to Williamson’s inside to try and snatch the lead away, but the attempts were thwarted by the Behrent’s Performance Warehouse No. 3.
Rudolph took advantage of the restart, driving around Johnson to grab the final podium position.
The top three would remain unchanged for the remainder of the race, and Williamson cruised to his fifth career STSS victory.
Friesen earned a runner-up finish.
“First of all, hats off to these great fans, this was awesome,” Friesen said of the two-day swing in Quebec. “Give yourselves a round of applause.
“We had a great racecar,” Friesen said of his Halmar International No. 44. “I’d just lose the right front sometimes and have to get the back around to get through the corner.”
Rudolph rounded out the top three after starting in ninth.
“We had a really good car. I thought we ran our best laps from lap 30 to 50,” Rudolph explained. “Anytime you end up on the podium with the Short Track Super Series, it’s a good night.”
Mike Mahaney brought the George Huttig-owned No. 35 home fourth and Marc Johnson rounded out the top five aboard the S&S Asphalt Paving No. 9.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Drummondville, Quebec’s Mario Clair who drew the worst number in the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw; Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard, after switching to a backup car and claiming the BDR Speed Hard Charger Award; St. Damase, Quebec’s David Hebert who charged from 19th; Alex Yankowski in his family-owned No. 84y; and Victoriaville, Quebec’s Alex Therrien in his STSS debut.
Heat winners, receiving $50 courtesy of FloRacing, were Clair, J.F. Corriveau, and Rudolph.
The decision was made to forego the consolation race and start all 31 cars in the pit area with impending weather on the horizon.
Attention turns to another first-time event for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco. Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pa. hosts the STSS on Tuesday, August 1, for a non-points event on the Rent Equip/Party Central South Region.
Thirty-two cars will receive payout, with an A- and B-Feature on tap in the inaugural event, with the A Feature winner receiving a $5,000 payday.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail email@example.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Rent Equip/Party Central, BDR Speed, Bicknell Racing Products, Ollie’s, Penske Racing Shocks, Wegner Automotive, River Valley Builders, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, DIG Race Products, Velocita-USA, Franklin Products, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Quality Drywall, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Algonkin Motel, Beyea Custom Headers, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Electric Neon Custom Signs, Fastline Performance, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO & Wilwood.
LUMBERJACK SWING RESULTS SUMMARY – LE RPM SPEEDWAY WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2023
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco River Valley Builders North Region Round No. 8 Feature Finish (60 laps): MAT WILLIAMSON, Stewart Friesen, Erick Rudolph, Mike Mahaney, Marc Johnson, Mario Clair, Matt Sheppard, David Hebert, Alex Yankowski, Alex Therrien, Mathieu Desjardins, Steve Bernier, Felix Roy, Francois Bernier, Dillon Steuer, Chris Curtis, Alan Therrien, Samuel Charland, J.R. Hurlburt, Kevin Hamel, Francois Bellemare, Daniel Morgiewicz, Jr., Simon Perreault, Patrick Beaumier, JF Corriveau, Steve Bernard, Steve Turcotte, Martin Pelletier, Michael Parent
Did Not Start: Even Racine, Sebastien Gougeon
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): David Hebert (eighth) & Steve Bernier (12th)
BDR Speed Hard Charger Bonus ($250): Matt Sheppard (24th to seventh)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Mike Mahaney (fourth) & Alex Yankowski (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Mario Clair (Redrew 12th)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Mario Clair (sixth)
FloRacing Heat Race Winner ($50): Mario Clair, JF Corriveau, Erick Rudolph Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Mathieu Desjardins (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Mat Williamson (first – $150 certificate); Stewart Friesen (second – $75 certificate); Erick Rudolph (third – $50 certificate); Alex Therrien (10th – $25 certificate)
Reigel Promotions Bonus ($25): Samuel Charland (18th)
Shultz Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Alex Therrien (10th)
Superior Remodeling Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Mat Williamson
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Matt Sheppard (seventh)